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things i don't like as a space user

which is to say, things that i find impede my ability to get things done, or which otherwise compromise my ability to use & enjoy the space, which i believe other people would agree with my about, & which i think it would generally be a good thing to improve (in so far as any of them are actually a problem - i don't mean to give the impression that i believe that cold metals, or the space in general, is rife with dysfunction)

  • clutter, mess, or broken tools
    • more effort (time, energy, money, cognition) for me to work around that stuff than it should require
  • not having space to work
    • table space taken up by other things or unavailable to begin with
    • ordinarily clear floor space taken up by stuff dumped there
      • not being able to access a tool because there are things in the way
  • lack of information
    • not knowing what the status (working, not working, not to be used) of a tool is
    • not knowing where to find something i know is in the area and want to use
    • things being moved around (officially, on the part of the host) without the users being informed
  • delay
    • waiting on authorization on a tool
    • waiting for someone else to finish using a tool
    • having to order a part because the space was out of something it stocks
    • looking for something that's not in its place
  • inaccessibility
    • tool usage information not available (on wiki, via authorizations)
    • inoperable, partially operable, or fully operable tools with broken authorization tracks
    • lack of consistent organization policies across area, across shop in general

sketches toward resolution

mention here is not meant to imply that a given activity or strategy is not already performed - rather, that its performance (ongoing or otherwise) could help improve the state of the space

focuses as area host

a few high-level projects which, taken together, could make a substantial step in helping ameliorate the above concerns, & the natural starting point for which seems to be the area host position

  • put as much information in a public, accessible, recorded form as possible
    • wiki, calendar - both already well-used by membership
  • make it easy & quick for people to get authorized
  • prefer improving existing infrastructure / tools over acquiring new ones
  • involve area users in decision-making process for the area as much as possible

policies as area host

interrelated, more-or-less concrete actions, habits, initiatives, &c which seem like they could be useful in working toward / implementing the above focuses

  • within cold metals
    • people stuff
      • form working group of frequent cold metals users to solicit ideas & coordinate activities
        • solicit as much input as possible, but have priorities & ability to move forward on them regardless of member participation
        • try consensus-driven decision-making
        • use rolling agendas recorded on wiki
        • record notes on wiki
        • lower barrier to participation as much as possible
          • have meetings frequently, with lots of notification (on email list)
          • actively solicit input from people who use the area but don't participate much
      • coordinate authorization availability on wiki / calendar
        • check up on people periodically to make sure they're still available for doing auths
      • go through & regularize cold-metals articles on wiki
        • make sure all tools have up-to-date wiki pages & labels
          • including inventories (variable thoroughness, suitable for value of tools in question?) of smaller tools
            • hand tools, clamps
            • mill / lathe / drillpress / grinder tooling
        • make sure authorizations are recorded
        • photograph as many things as possible, for easy identification
          • wiki infoboxes
        • point out location on map, for things that are unlikely to move
          • map out cold metals floorspace first
      • establish & record periodic area / tool / wiki maintenance procedures
        • make checklists for what needs to be done each period
        • keep record of what's been done & when
      • commit to periodic area walkthroughs
        • check for parking requests, broken tools, things out of place
    • material stuff
      • regularize consumables stocking
        • set target quantities
        • periodically go through & take rough inventories
        • set up e.g. fastenal stocking program?
      • establish a labeling program, to make it easier to keep track of where things are
        • e.g. on shelves / drawers / tools
        • build on colored tool carts?
      • make sure the space stays clear
        • move things that are sitting in front of cold metals tools
        • establish actual boundaries of cold metals area?
  • within ps1 in general
    • work with other area hosts to establish cross-area authorization tracks / curricula
      • follow model of cold metals, woodshop auths? bundle tools with related functionalities / uses together?
      • design them around being able to do things that people commonly want to do
        • try & get people able to work on the projects they want to work on at the shop as quickly as possible